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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More electro-metal from Matheos and Moore, 26 May 2006
By 
Dr. D. B. Sillars - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Free (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
This is the second release from this recording project of Jim Matheos from Fates Warning and Kevin Moore from Chroma Key. Whereas the first self-titled album was more varied in tone and texture, "Free" is more defined in its sound and has more of a band feel to it. The reaction to this album has been far more negative than the first was greeted with. I think the reason for this is the more direct approach of the music and the increased presence of Kevin Moore's vocals. Some find Moore's vocals very flat and monotone, but I think it fits perfectly with the very atmospheric music on show. The music itself is prog metal in essence, but there are lots of electronics and synths going on to give it a very edgy, modern sheen Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy is not so much in evidence here compared to the debut album, but his contributions are very welcome indeed, neatly set against the more programmed sounds set around him. With projects like this and on Neal Morse's albums he has shown himself to be a very adaptable and capable drummer.

The juxtaposition of Matheos's heavy guitars and Moore's synth work is the key to the success of this project and to its individuality and distinctiveness. Moore's bubbling synth work on "Kicking" is particularly gratifying. There is some good riffing from Matheos on the title track. But throughout this album the quality of the writing and playing is fairly consistent throughout.

This is not such an immediate listen as OSI's first outing, but repeated listens bring out the character of the album very well indeed. The extra disc with the Special Edition contains more experimentally based tracks, but these would have been worth including on the main album such is their quality. So a fine album indeed and one which sits quite nicely along with the likes of Porcupine Tree, Tool and Riverside. A more than worthy follow-up.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heavy Electronica, 6 Sep 2007
By 
alwyncooper "alwyncooper" (Gloucestershire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Free (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
Firstly, If you have not heard OSI or Kevin Moore's solo work, Don't expect it to sound like Dream Theater - It doesn't.

Dream Theater uses complex rhythms and notation, but fairly uniform sounds which give the signature DT sound.
OSI is quite simple in actual content but very complex in layering of effects and use of types of differing types of sound (Timbre).

If you like Nine Inch Nails, Porcupine Tree, mid-period Peter Gabriel, Underworld, then you may well love this album.

I love this album.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!.., 21 Sep 2006
This review is from: Free (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
This music is fresh, original and exciting. I have the special edition with six more tracks and I want to say that I'm very impressed. The sound is well balanced and the quality is really exeptional especially if you have a good Hi-Fi system to listen it. This is one of the best sounded albums for years in my opinion and a good answer to the banal and cheap trends of industrial popular music. Thank you guys.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Free to explore, 14 Feb 2007
By 
Andrew C. Madden "Mad Andy" (London UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Free (Limited Edition) (Audio CD)
An astounding album of prog metal, rock and more pop-like music influenced heavily by Moore's synths and fx and Matheos' pounding guitar. Makes great use of sound fx and heavy metal guitar, sometimes the drums seem a bit techno loopy but this all adds to one hell of a good album.

Get the special edition version for an extra 6 tracks of even more experimental songs.

I rate this as one of the best albums of 2006.
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